Police review videotapes of slaying site

Clues sought in stabbing at Arundel Subway shop

December 16, 2003|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County police were poring over surveillance videotapes and other clues yesterday in search of the person who killed a Subway sandwich shop worker and left her body in the store freezer early Saturday.

The body of Mary Ella Ginger, 51, of the first block of Steuart Lane in Edgewater was discovered about 1 a.m. in the store, in Festival at Riva shopping center in the 2300 block of Forest Drive. A mother of two and operator of a day care center, she had been stabbed numerous times.

Nothing was apparently taken from the store, said Lt. Joseph E. Jordan, a county police spokesman, although he said investigators have not ruled out robbery or any other motive. There were no signs of forced entry.

Ginger was born near Oxon Hill and moved to Edgewater almost 20 years ago with her husband. The two divorced in the early 1990s, but Ginger stayed, raising her son and daughter, said her mother, Jean Law of Beckley, W.Va., in an interview yesterday.

Ginger had worked at the store part time for nearly five years and would generally take the evening shift and clean the store after it closed, Law said.

"Everyone knew that store would be really clean in the morning if Mary was working the night before," Law said.

The store's owner, Joey Yousefzadeh, declined to comment yesterday.

Although Ginger didn't mind working late hours, Law said she would call her daughter two or three times a night to check on her. Law spoke briefly to her daughter about 11 p.m. Friday. "She said she had a lot of work to do and had to go," Law said.

In addition to working at Subway about 20 hours a week, Ginger also ran Learn Family Day Care out of her home. Ginger once aspired to be a computer programmer, but she couldn't find a job in the early 1990s. She opened the day care center instead, family members said.

"She loved children and they loved her, so it seemed like a good fit," said an aunt, Helen M. Lilly of Beckley.

Law said that although some parents struggled to control their children, "They listened to Mary."

"She would get down and look at them and say, `You cannot do this,' and they would stop it," said Law, sitting in her daughter's living room, which was filled with plastic dinosaurs and other toys.

Because she held two jobs, Ginger didn't have time for much else, Lilly said. "All of her hours were taken up with work," Lilly said.

Ginger had hoped to retire in five years but was trying to provide financial help for her children, Jason, 24, and Jennifer, 20. Ginger had recently bought each of them a new car and gave them computers and video games for the holidays.

"All the children had to do was say 'I want,' and she would get it for them," Law said.

The Subway store has been closed since the killing. It is to reopen today, according to the note on the door.

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